Far from home

Student returns from Pakistan after skin condition treatment


Mubarra Ihsan

Pakistani student Mubarra Ihsan gets back to school late December.

Solily San Miguel, Staff Writer

An 11-hour time change.

A 19.7 hour flight. 

A semester of missed classes.

After spending months in Pakistan for medical treatment, junior Mubarra Ihsan —- returned to school two weeks before Christmas break to a pile of work to make up.

Ihsan stayed in Pakistan for treatment of her generalized vitiligo, a skin condition causing lack of pigmentation in the skin. Vitiligo occurs in 1% of the world’s population. 

The medication process takes two medicines in which Ihsan would take one in the morning and one in the evening, along with a cream she has to apply everyday. 

Ihsan traveled to Pakistan to see a recommended doctor for her specific condition. As she wanted to be treated as soon as possible. 

“My skin is coming back slowly.” Ihsan said. 

When she came back to school, her history class had been replaced with a credit recovery class to help her make up for the time lost.

Ihsan is a student who excels at school, with an A-B average. She gets along with her teachers and is kind with classmates. 

“She has a giving heart, and a very open personality,” said Tammy Gambill, ESL teacher, “multilingual people have to work hard and she works really hard.”  

Ihsan moved to the U.S. when she was 10 years old and had to learn English at school. She is one of very few Muslim students and has a very high respect for her religion.

“My religion contains peace in it and Islam followers are called Muslim,” Ihsan said “I pray five times a day and read quran.”

Ihsan dresses in traditional clothing everyday. This includes wearing a hijab with a kameez. Kameez are long colorful dresses from Pakistan.

Born in Pakistan and living there for the majority of her life, it was hard for Ihsan to say goodbye to her home, friends and family.  

“I miss spending time with my family and really close friends,” Ihsan said “It was hard to say goodbyes. Pakistan is beautiful.”